BT Statement On Olympic Selection
London Olympic Games athlete selection for -80 kg
Following the announcement from the British Olympic Association that they have now unanimously ratified the selection of Lutalo Mohamed for the male -80 kg category at the London Olympic Games, we can make the following statement.
You will understand that throughout the whole process, we have been constrained by legal advice, in order to maintain the highest levels of integrity at all times. The time is now right to advise our members accordingly.
The preparation and selection processes that GB Taekwondo has gone through have given us unprecedented success within our sport. We are still basking in the success of the best ever results at a World Championships and European Championships, so it is clear that our athletes, coaches and staff are all performing at a world class level. Indeed we are the envy of many of our WTF family. It is fair to say that we are a world power within our sport and we should all be proud of that, we can rightfully conclude that the system is working.
At no time has anyone from British Taekwondo ever been involved in the decision of selection or, for that matter, interfered with the selection process. British Taekwondo is represented on the board of GB Taekwondo and plays an active and appropriate role, however the athletes selection process is conducted at arm’s length by GB Taekwondo to ensure appropriate independence based solely on performance.
As for the selection of the male -80 kg athlete for the Olympic Games, the selection policy that GB Taekwondo has adhered to has been reviewed at every stage by all the relevant stakeholders such as UK Sport and the BOA, up to and including proper appeal processes managed by Sports Resolution. Any and all outcomes have been implemented, with independent legal oversight at every occasion. Any recommendations made by Sports Resolution and the BOA have been accepted and implemented in the process. We will of course work fully and co-operatively with any review that WTF deem appropriate to undertake.
It is clear that this issue may have brought undue stress on both -80 kg athletes. We apologise unreservedly if this is the case, as their best interests are and always will be foremost in our considerations. We shall of course be reviewing fully the process and rationale of selection policy with GB Taekwondo to take into account the various comments by our members and stakeholders alike and move forward positively because of it.
As GB Taekwondo’s own statements have said, selection of athletes, especially two who are world class, is extremely difficult. Gary Hall, Performance Director, has very recently issued a statement on the matter, as it is performance related. Everyone has a right to an opinion, especially our members who are actively involved in our sport. However, we are disappointed by a number of negative comments made by individuals and organisations without full knowledge of the facts. These comments do not contribute to the success of our athletes and our sport.
It is now time for us to get behind our selected Olympic athletes. They need us, all of us, on their side. No result in sport is ever guaranteed. All we can do is trust our athletes and staff in their preparation. We can all enjoy the Games in August and we must respect triumph and defeat equally, as our athletes will do us proud irrespective of the result. Let us do them proud and get behind them.
The Council of British Taekwondo